Thursday, July 1, 2010

Far East Organization launches ultra luxury development arm

Market players believe more home hunters and investors are going up-market.

To tap opportunities in this segment, developer Far East Organization has launched a series of luxurious apartments under a brand called Inessence.

Industry figures show that some 240 ultra high-end homes were sold in the first half of this year, and observers said there is more upside ahead.

Living it up at Boulevard Vue will come with a big price tag.

An apartment here costs about S$3,700 per square foot, and that is just the starting price.

About one-third of the project has been snapped up, with the penthouse sold for about S$34 million recently.

Boulevard Vue is among four bespoke residences under the Inessence brand.

Its developer Far East Organization said the properties are all located in the Orchard Road area.

So far, about six-in-10 of the available units are taken up by foreigners.

Chia Boon Kuah, executive director, Far East Organization, said: “With the increase in interest in Singapore, especially from the Chinese, from Malaysians, from Indonesians, and we expect also the Indians to be arriving and buying such luxury properties…with these people, with the new money and the new customers coming to Singapore, we believe these products will be taken up.”

According to recent studies by Cap Gemini and Merrill Lynch, global wealth increased by about 19 per cent to US$39 trillion to close in on the pre-crisis peaks of 2007. The Asia Pacific led the growth in wealth, outpacing Europe for the first time.

Observers said foreigners are also attracted to properties in Singapore because they are relatively cheaper.

The peak price for luxury homes was about S$4,500 per square foot in 2008.

Donald Han, managing director, Cushman & Wakefield, said: “If you look at the ultra high end pricing wise, it is hovering about 18 to 20 per cent off from peak of the residential market, which is defined as the first quarter of 2008.

“There is a lot for the ultra high-end market to pick up, and values are deemed quite compelling to some of our neighbouring cities like Hong Kong, Shanghai or even Beijing, which is all pretty toppish – at market peaks in that sense.”

In the first half of this year, some 240 luxury apartments were sold in Singapore, at a total value of S$1.4 billion.

And Far East Organization believes there is room for growth, as sales are still below the peaks in 2007 when 1,000 units were sold that year, at a total value of S$6.4 billion.

Source: Channel News Asia, 30 Jun 2010

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